Charity Golf Tournament Sponsorship Results in a Hole-in-One for IGEL and Lockton Companies
Leading independent insurance broker, Lockton, was in need of desktop innovation to support its Citrix VDI roll-out. The IGEL Universal Management Suite software along with the advanced features available with the new IGEL Cloud Gateway and UD Pocket micro client will enable Lockton to streamline the deployment of Citrix desktops throughout its office locations in record time.
“Once we tested the IGEL UMS all bets were off. We knew right away that with the superior design and infrastructure management capabilities afforded by the UMS, it would be possible for us to manage our entire network of endpoints here in the U.S. from our headquarters in Kansas City, and that was a big deal for us.”JAMIE CREEKVICE PRESIDENT, IT OPERATIONS, LOCKTON COMPANIES
- Lockton Companies is the world’s largest privately owned, independent insurance brokerage firm
- More than 6,000 Associates around the globe
- Headquarters: Kansas City, MO
- Lockton was in the midst of a Citrix VDI roll-out when one of its endpoint manufacturers changed some of the key features on the model the insurance broker was using to power its endpoints. This presented a number of challenges that the Lockton team needed to overcome during a critical stage in the VDI roll-out.
- Ease of management and configuration
- Time and cost savings
- Exceptional software and hardware engineering
- Real Innovation in the endpoint and endpoint security and optimization market
Although Lockton is the world’s largest privately owned insurance brokerage firm, clients most frequently describe the insurance broker as team members who make their businesses better. Energy, innovation and deep expertise fuel Lockton’s focus on solving its clients’ problems and achieving real results.
It is this spirit of innovation that led Lockton to recently embark on the deployment of Citrix Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) at its headquarters in the Country Club Plaza area of Kansas City, MO., and local office locations across the United States and around the globe.
“We were looking to improve the productivity of our Associates, while at the same time deliver a robust and secure desktop experience,” said Jamie Creek, Vice President, IT Operations, Lockton Companies. “As part of our VDI deployment, which we call Cirrus, we are leveraging Citrix XenApp and Citrix XenDesktop to provide our Associates with access to their Microsoft Office applications, Adobe Creative Cloud, web browsers and specialty software programs.”
Lockton was about a quarter of the way through its Cirrus VDI deployment when one of its endpoint manufacturers changed some of the key features on the model the insurance broker was using, without warning. This presented a number of challenges that Lockton’s IT team was unable to overcome during a critical stage in the VDI roll-out. “We saw the direction that the manufacturer was headed and we weren’t thrilled,” continued Creek.
Fortuitous meeting on the golf course leads to resolution of Lockton’s Endpoint conundrum
Around the same time Creek was experiencing issues with the endpoint manufacturer, he participated in a charity golf tournament in Kansas City that was hosted by IGEL Platinum Partner Choice Solutions and sponsored by IGEL. “I was taking a call from the office regarding yet another issue that had come up with our VDI roll-out and ended up meeting IGEL’s Russ Smith at the next hole,” said Creek. “I asked about IGEL and discovered they manufactured endpoints. The timing couldn’t have been better. We talked about some of the issues we were having at Lockton.”
Following the golf tournament, Smith met with Creek and provided a couple of IGEL Universal Desktop™ (UD2-LX) units for testing. “We set them up in a lab environment, side-by-side with our current endpoints so that we could get a good idea of the look and feel of the devices and whether they offered the features we needed,” said Creek.
In addition to testing the IGEL UD2-LX, Lockton also tested the IGEL Universal Management Suite™ (UMS) management console. “Once we tested the IGEL UMS all bets were off. We knew right away that with the superior design and secure infrastructure management capabilities afforded by the UMS, it would be possible for us to manage our entire network of endpoints here in the U.S. from our headquarters in Kansas City, and that was a big deal for us.”
To date, with the help of Choice Solutions, Lockton has deployed 1,200 IGEL UD2-LX endpoints and expected that number to increase to 1,800 by the end of 2017. “We also have a small number of licenses for the IGEL Universal Desktop Converter software which we are leveraging to turn hardware from other endpoint manufacturers into IGEL-powered endpoints,” said Creek. “As the hardware fails, the plan is to replace those units with IGEL UD2s.”
Lockton is also using the IGEL UD Pocket to deliver the IGEL desktop to employees using legacy endpoint hardware.
“The IGEL UD Pocket is coming in handy for our triple-monitor workstations as it is able to recognize all three monitors, and we can securely boot directly from the micro endpoint device, saving us time and resources,” continued Creek.
Immediate ROI for “Office-in-a-Box”; German engineering reduces break/fix work
Creek reports that the IGEL UMS software has also been one of the biggest contributors to time and cost savings for Lockton. “Prior to implementing our Citrix-based Cirrus VDI and IGEL’s endpoint security and optimization solutions, it took days to configure the desktops and IT infrastructure for our offices,” he said. “Fast forward to today, and it only takes a few hours from the time we land to get the office up and running. Being able to configure and manage our endpoints through the IGEL UMS saves us a tremendous amount of time.”
Lockton is also saving a significant amount of time on break/fix work as the fault tolerance on the IGEL hardware is very high. “I chalk it up to good German engineering,” continued Creek. “We are still replacing endpoints from other manufacturers, but with IGEL we don’t have the same issues because they last much longer.”
Lockton looks toward the future with IGEL
As the world’s largest privately held insurance brokerage, Lockton also strives to hire the best and brightest talent in the industry. “Many of our Associates work remotely and that number continues to grow,” said Creek. “With those remote Associates and because a large number of our local offices don’t have IT people on-site, it is more challenging to support them with a secure desktop experience.”
Lockton is hoping that technology advances will make that process much easier, and when Creek’s team learned about the recently introduced IGEL Cloud Gateway software, they became very excited. “The touchless deployment of the IGEL endpoints through IGEL Cloud Gateway holds a lot of potential for us in terms of both time and cost savings, as it makes it possible for non-technical Associates to securely deploy their IGEL desktops without any help from IT,” concluded Creek.
Creek says that the combination of the IGEL Cloud Gateway and the IGEL UD Pocket will further streamline the deployment of its office locations, making it possible to configure the desktops in even less time that it currently takes with its “Office-in-a-Box.”
“The way we deploy desktops in our offices is changing dramatically, and in our opinion for the better thanks to IGEL and its leadership in this space,” said Creek.
Jim Steinlage, President and CEO, Choice Solutions added, “IGEL brings to market an incredibly robust family of secure, reliable and flexible endpoint security and optimization solutions, and we are pleased to have the opportunity to help Lockton embrace the IGEL endpoints and software in order to improve efficiencies and drive productivity.”